On the twelfth day of Christmas: Anne Thériault

I knew there would be two problems when it came to writing this post: the first is a problem I’ve had with many of the blogs that I’ve spotlighted in this series – Anne wrote so much great stuff in 2014 that picking three posts was bloody hard work. The second problem was much more mundane. As you may have noticed, there’s an acute accent in Anne’s surname and I still have no idea what the keyboard shortcuts are for accents on a Macbook. So, if anyone can help with that… (I copied and pasted from Google to get in the post title).

Anne is, in my opinion, the best kind of feminist blogger/tweeter. Her posts are thoughtful, intelligent and cover a huge range of subjects and her Twitter feed is both interesting and funny, the humour often coming courtesy of her three year old. i can’t remember how or at what point in the year I discovered this blog, but god, it fast became one of my favourites.

As with many of the bloggers I read, one of my favourite posts here was a depression/anxiety piece called Life Goes On And Other Garbage, about how frustrating it can be when you’re not coping with life and people tell that ‘life goes on,’ in a way that’s intended to comfort. We don’t all look forward to tomorrow, we don’t all enjoy weekends. In this post, Anne reflects how it can be hard that life moves on not only when things are bad, but when they’re good, as well – that even the best moments have to end. I promise it’s not as depressing as it sounds though, and it ends on a great note, and a feeling I share: that sometimes, when things are really bad, just knowing that people take the time to read your stuff helps.

My second favourite post was about death. God, I’m not doing a great job on the hardsell here, am I? For Alicia, though, is beautiful, in every sense. It’s a tribute, and one that notices details that a formal eulogy might never do: ‘She loved words – scratch that, she lived for words. She wielded them with an economy and precision that made me deeply envious,’ but it’s also a musing on the peculiarities and the fragility of the human body, a fantastic example of being in the moment and being aware of tiny, seemingly inconsequential details, of how sometimes the things that seem too flimsy to blog about – funeral wear, for example, can really make a piece of writing, and lastly, on that weird feeling of both being a grown up and being endlessly surprised by that fact.

My favourite favourite post was “You Know I Love You A Lot Too Even If I Sometimes Get Impatient” – god, how this resonated! I tell the people I love that I love them a lot, and yes, it’s as much about seeking reassurance as it is about making them feel loved, much as it makes me cringe to admit it. I want everyone to like me, impossible though that is, and the fear that they don’t makes me anxious, and the anxiety makes me bitchy. It’s a vicious circle. I cannot possibly summarise everything I love about this post, so here’s an extract instead:

‘I have a hard time understanding that I can still have conflict with people that I love. In my head, it seems so black and white: either you love me or you don’t. And if you’re angry at me, or frustrated with me, or hurt by something that I’ve done, then you don’t love me. And if you don’t love me, it’s almost certainly because of something I’ve done, some way in which I’ve fucked up. If you don’t love me, I probably deserve it.

And so I melt down into that sobbing, gibbering mess and feel like I can’t breathe and feel like the world is ending and feel like I am not worthy of anyone’s love. Like it’s somehow just a weird trick of fate that I have a husband and a son and lots and lots of friends. I feel as if when I have any kind of conflict with someone, it’s because they’re finally seeing the real me, the bad me, and now that the jig is up they’ll never love me again.’

You’ll find Anne’s homepage here.

That’s it for this series – this year I’ll try to do a better job of recording my favourite reads so that I can be more organised about these posts come the end of 2015.

PS Yes. I know. The twelfth day of Christmas has long gone. In my defence, my local bakery is still selling Galette des rois, so I figure I’m fine.

PPS The clever dicks among you may have noticed that Anne, being ‘A,’ should’ve been the first post in the series, not the last. In my defence, her blog is called ‘The Belle Jar,’ which is why she came last in the alphabetical list. I just fucked up the titling of the post, ok?

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